New study shows people with dementia bear higher financial burden: How to tell the story
AHCJ | Association of Health Care Journalists
by Liz Seegert
4M ago
Photo by Marco Verch under Creative Commons 2.0. When we think about the cost of dementia, it’s often framed as a financial burden on the health system, such as Medicare expenditures. However, a new study by researchers at The University of Michigan found that a dementia diagnosis can significantly damage a person’s net worth and personal spending — costs which researchers say should be incorporated into analyses of the broader health care outcomes and financial consequences of this condition. The cost of caring for someone with dementia generally is incremental, but can quickly add up. Peo ..read more
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How health and science writer Lisa Marshall covered the growing smart bandage industry
AHCJ | Association of Health Care Journalists
by Karen Blum
4M ago
Journalist Lisa Marshall When Colorado-based freelance health and science journalist Lisa Marshall got a tip from an editor at WebMD to look into smart bandages — gadgets that incorporate sensors and/or artificial intelligence technology to monitor a wound as it heals — she said she had no idea the market for wound care was so large. Her Sept. 6 story for WebMD and Medscape, “New AI-Enhanced Bandages Poised to Transform Wound Treatment,” offers an interesting look into several types of these devices that could soon be available as well as the wide scope of patients who could potentially ben ..read more
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As open enrollment begins, older adults have questions about how to afford Medicare coverage
AHCJ | Association of Health Care Journalists
by Joseph Burns
4M ago
Since 2014, the number of Medicare Advantage plans available to the average Medicare beneficiary has more than doubled from 17 to 43 this year. Source: KFF report published Sept. 18, 2023, and accessed Oct. 16, 2023. Reprinted with permission Many Americans ages 65 and up have difficulty affording Medicare premiums and prescription drugs. Journalists have an opportunity to help their audience navigate our confusing health care system during Medicare’s open enrollment period. Last year, staff and volunteers with the Medicare Rights Center saw a significant uptick in questions from older adul ..read more
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What to know about fetal viability — and why some advocates want it out of abortion law
AHCJ | Association of Health Care Journalists
by Mary Chris Jaklevic
4M ago
Photo by the Noun Project via Wikimedia Commons.  A major medical group is advising journalists to learn about fetal viability and says it should no longer be used as a dividing line for legal abortion. Recently, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) sent some journalists a link to a policy statement on its website called “Facts Are Important: Understanding and Navigating Viability.” [See key points, below.] The statement says that viability can’t be definitively determined in the latter stages of pregnancy, and inaccurate use of the term “can prevent patients ..read more
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AARP long-term care scorecard reveals plenty of room for improvement 
AHCJ | Association of Health Care Journalists
by Liz Seegert
4M ago
Photo by Jsme MILA via pexels. More than three years after the COVID-19 pandemic began, care provided for older people and those with disabilities is still woefully inadequate, according to the latest long-term services and supports (LTSS) scorecard from AARP. The report found major gaps in care in every state, including support for family caregivers, the long-term care workforce, nursing home equity and emergency preparedness. Minnesota and Washington state were ranked first and second, respectively, in the report, outperforming all other states in how they help family caregivers, offering ..read more
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Why climate change matters for seasonal allergies and asthma
AHCJ | Association of Health Care Journalists
by Paul Gordon
4M ago
Photo by Andrea Piacquadio via Pexels The health implications of seasonal allergies don’t get the attention they deserve; we might just brush them off as annoyances many of us have to endure. Climate change, unfortunately, is making these health consequences worse than ever and worthy of more attention from health reporters. Each year, reports like this one come out asserting that seasonal allergies are unusually bad; but are they actually getting worse? The severity of allergies typically changes yearly depending on a number of seasonal variables, but the trend has continued to be bad in t ..read more
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‘Offensive’ news about opioids in Appalachia prompts launch of website aimed at improving addiction coverage
AHCJ | Association of Health Care Journalists
by Katti Gray
4M ago
Reporting on Addiction offers numerous resources for journalists, including an ethical visual style guide. Image courtesy of Reporting on Addiction Do you cover drug addiction in your community? If so, you should be aware of how, among other things, word choice leads to more evidence-based, factual reporting. ReportingOnAddiction.org offers journalists some guidance. Reporter Ashton Marra, M.S., and psychologist Jonathan Stoltman, Ph.D., co-founded the site to push back against news coverage of opioid addiction across Appalachia that Marra and Stoltman, the site’s co-directors, consider pro ..read more
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Can practitioners still prescribe controlled medications via telehealth?
AHCJ | Association of Health Care Journalists
by Karen Blum
4M ago
Screenshot of Sept. 12, 2023, “DEA Telemedicine Public Listening Session: Day 1” video captured Oct. 9, 2023. Should health care practitioners retain the ability to prescribe controlled medications to patients via telemedicine — perhaps without any in-person evaluations — now that the peak COVID-19 public health emergency has passed? That was the subject of debate over a two-day listening session in September held at the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration’s Virginia headquarters. Journalists who cover health IT and/or drug policy can keep tabs on this issue through a number of sources lis ..read more
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Lunch and Learn: Using social media to find editors calling for pitches
AHCJ | Association of Health Care Journalists
by Barbara Mantel
4M ago
In September, attendees at the monthly Lunch and Learn discussed how to use social media to find editors who are calling for pitches. AHCJ freelance committee member, board member and Lunch and Learn co-organizer Tammy Worth asked freelance writer and editor Kaitlyn Arford to sit in. Arford writes a weekly newsletter of opportunities for freelancers, and she shared many useful tips. Other participants chimed in with their own experiences and questions. Lunch and Learns are never recorded so that participants can feel free to share thoughts that they don’t want to go beyond the group. Instead ..read more
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A typical workday for freelancer Marcus Banks
AHCJ | Association of Health Care Journalists
by Barbara Mantel
4M ago
Marcus Banks For this installment of “A Typical Workday,” I interviewed independent health care journalist Marcus Banks. He has been freelancing full time since June 2020 after earning a master’s degree from New York University’s Science, Health & Environmental Reporting program and interning at the magazine Spectrum, which covers autism news. His work has run in Medscape, Nature, WebMD, The Scientist, Pharmacy Practice News and other publications. Before becoming a journalist, Banks spent 14 years as a medical librarian in California. This conversation has been edited for clarity and b ..read more
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